Safeguards relating to disclosure of material or data overseas

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 21 April 2016.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 2:15, 21 April 2016

I can confirm that, and I can say a little more. My residual generosity is such that I take the view that these amendments are well intentioned, but they are unnecessary. Let me say why.

Clause 113 already provides that the Secretary of State must ensure that satisfactory and equivalent handling arrangements are in place before sharing UK equipment interference material with an overseas authority. The Secretary of State must determine that they provide corresponding satisfactory protections. Furthermore, those obligations sit alongside those in, for example, the consolidated guidance to intelligence officers and service personnel on the detention and interviewing of detainees overseas, and on the passing and receipt of intelligence relating to detainees, as well as the gateway provisions that allow for intelligence sharing in the Intelligence Services Act 1994 and the Security Service Act 1989.

In addition, the overseas security and justice assistance guidance provides an overarching mechanism that sets out which human rights and international humanitarian law risks should be considered prior to providing justice or security sector assistance. This is supplemented by the draft code of practice on equipment interference, which is clear about the safeguards on the handling of information. It seems to me that the protections, absolutely necessary though they are, are comprehensively dealt with by that variety of means, rendering the amendment unnecessary. I invite the hon. Gentleman to withdraw it.